Friday, January 16, 2009

A Diamond in the Rough

The waiting, as they say, is the hardest part. That's certainly been true in this case. It's been a long two weeks of waiting for the results of Nathan's biopsy to come in. Although the signs were pointing to a good prognosis, life can be so full of surprises, good and bad, that you can never be too certain. I admit it, I was obsessed day and night. I poured over websites about neuroblastoma, I read Wikipedia definitions multiple times. I read the blogs of others fighting the disease. I hoped, I prayed, and I enlisted friends near and far to include him in their prayers and wishes and dreams. And I cried. A lot.

Today was a long day. I knew that Nathan's results were due in. Unfortunately, I hadn't asked my sister what time they were to meet with the doctor. So, last night I tossed and turned. All day long (with apologies to my boss) I struggled to stay on task and not drift into bouts of fear and paranoia about the outcome. I heard nothing all day.

When I arrived home this evening, however, there was a message from my sister to call. Nothing else. I picked up the phone, then suddenly couldn't remember her cell number. I frantically looked for my address/phone book and couldn't find it. I thought, maybe, I could remember the cell, so I dialed it. It wasn't hers, but her husband's. He worked in a few pleasantries. But I wanted the news. Tell me.

As he filled me in on the Oh-So-Good news I burst into tears. The results: the tumor is definitely a neuroblastoma (and not something unexpected), Stage 1, Low-Risk. And the best news beyond that - NO CHEMO. Be still my heart. I have never been so grateful in my life.

I congratulated him. He told me more of the details, the doctors comments, the fact that they will be watching him carefully, doing scans every 3 months. They will continue with the infusions for the OMS that warned them that a tumor was possible. They will continue with the steroid injections for a time. The physical therapy, speech therapy, and so on. All of those things seem like status quo after this. The tumor is gone. He will live.

It is possible that it may recur. But based on the traits of the one they removed, anything additional will hopefully be treatable in the same way. And, with regular scans, they can catch it early, as they were able to do with this one.

As it turns out, they were nearby, having just come from the doctor. So I rushed out to meet up with them. To hug them. To see their happy faces. To see Nathan, and his big, handsome, brother Ben, play together, and laugh and giggle. To take a few pictures. How did I get to be so lucky, to be able to be with them on this momentous day? Yes, I am grateful.

It was a rough day. It's been a rough 12 months since this began. But the diamond is worth it. For he sparkles and he shines. But most of all, he warms our hearts.


babbler said...

I had an unusual business week this week that left me feeling a bit strange, I have to face some mad customers in the morning. Then I read this story. Boy do I feel like my troubles are insignificant! I'm going into that meeting with a smile on my face, glad to know that a child is feeling better today because of some great news. You made my day. Thank you.

kmbrco said...

You're welcome, Babbler. Though I just told some happy news. I hope your meeting went better than anticipated. And thanks for reading!